When people think of winter sports, they usually think of ice skating, skiing or snowboarding. Without a doubt, these are some of the most popular winter sports - although, thanks to artificial snow we can play most of these sports all year around!
Last weekend, I went snowshoeing with a group of teachers from my school. Although I had walked in very deep snow almost two years ago, I had never tried snowshoeing before. A snowshoe is, essentially, a large plastic frame which you attach to your own shoes. The idea is that the snowshoe increases the surface area of your feet, therefore making you less likely to sink in the snow.
At first, it felt a little strange - a bit like wearing flippers when you swim! I felt quite clumsy to start with, and it was difficult to climb over the fallen trees with the snowshoes attached to my feet. However, I love hiking and am used to walking in mountainous areas so I soon got used to it. I loved walking through the forest and seeing all the trees covered in snow! At times, walking uphill in the snow was hard, especially when there were rocks underneath the snow. That said, once we reached the summit it was worth it! The mountain we climbed was called 'Le Tanet' and it was 1,292m high - that's higher than Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales! The sky was a bit grey, but the views were fantastic. I managed to get some great photos - and remembered to use the panoramic setting on my new camera! After taking lots of photos, we started the descent. In some ways, going down the mountain was harder than going up. It was very steep, and it was easy to slip in the snow.
At the bottom, we had a hot drink in a cabin - it was definitely needed after a few hours of walking in the cold! Before we went home, I had a go at sledging which I'd never tried before! It was great fun!
Overall, I'd really recommend snowshoeing as an alternative to the more well-known winter sports. Besides being a lot cheaper than skiing, it's easier to do and is considered to be a lot safer!